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WW1 Pair wife of Artist Arthur Burrington

Art History interest WW1 Pair to M.M.C.J.F. Burrington, a tragic story of a French Lady who died from the pressures of the war, the wife of noted Artist Arthur Alfred Burrington, a friend of Claude Monet.

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SKU: J6304 Category:
Origin: United Kingdom
Nearly Extremely Fine


British War Medal and Victory Medal, named: M.M.C.J.F. Burrington


The full Story of Arthur and his Wife Marie is excellently put together on the Bridwater Cemeteries website at this link Article on Arthur Burrington


Marie Madeleine Caroline Julia Ferucia Burrington nee Gugard was from Paris, France. During WW1 she and her Husband Alfred Burrington volunteered for service, she worked at the Entente Cordiale Hospital at the Imperial Hotel as a Nurse. However the constant strain of having to look after so many of the injured during this time and the various pressures put upon her, were said to have been mainly responsible for her early death in 1920.


She died on 16th February 1920, Arthur ensured she was buried in his favourite place, the town of Menton, only 8 metres from the grave of the famous artist Aubrey Beardsley in the Cemetery du Trabuquet.


Her Husband Alfred was born in Bridgwater, Somerset during 1856, son of Edwin Henry Burrington, a leather merchant and accomplished published Poet. As a young boy he was fond of drawing and was constantly top of his class in painting and drawing, his parents enrolled him in South Kensington School of Art in London. Upon graduating he went to Rome to study the great masters and visited all the celebrated centres of Art in Italy, especially Venice, returning to England for further studies at Slade School.
He returned to the continent for a 2 year training period in Paris. He was trained there by the well known portrait painter Bonnat, and then at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts under Boulanger and Cormon and always remembered these master with gratitude. After a short period back in England he joined the colony of artists of the internal schools of painting at Pont-Aven in Brittany. During this time he met other young enthusiasts, several of whom such as Stanhope Forbes and Frank Brangwyn have since become famous.


During this period he bumped into none other than Claud Monet, at Bordighera, near Menton during 1884. At which time Monet painted a portrait of him, known as “Portrait of an English Artist”, in 1908 Burrington sold it for 2000 Francs, it is now held in the collection of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel. This was painted not long after the death of Monet’s Wife Camille, when he suddenly began to create some of the best paintings of the 19th Century, he began a tour of the French countryside and painted various groups of Landscapes and seascapes in an effort to document the beautiful French countryside.


Burrington had exhibited his worked in England, France, Tasmania and America, between 1888 and 1918 he exhibited 19 works at the Royal Academy in London including in 1905 and Oil which is considered his finest work “The Fete of the Patron Saint in Castellar”.


During his travels in Paris he likely met Marie Gugard and they married in Wales during 1889. They lived most of their lives together in Menton, France, Arthur’s favourite place in the world as he was drawn like many Artists to the beauty of the Cote d’Azur. They settled at his house “Châlet des Rêves” in the Valu du Borrigo.
Their peaceful existence in France was interrupted by the outbreak of the Great War, with the Palaces and Hotels of Menton being requisitioned as field hospitals.


They then began the ‘Burrington Tombola’ for which Arthur donated watercolours and prints of his pictures as prizes. The proceeds of which were handed to the wounded soldiers of Menton. The name Burrington was often invluded on monthly subscription lists to aid the afflicted and for for ‘Soupes Populaires’ fund which provided two meals a day for the poor of Menton.


During this time Arthur volunteered at the military hospital, doing what he could, whilst Marie worked as a Nurse at the Imperial Hotel, now the Entente Cordiale Hospital, the medal roll records she served 3 over 3 long years between March 1915 and November 1918. Soon after peace was declared she died during 1920, the hard years of the war are believed to have contributed greatly. They also had no children.


It was not long afterwards that Arthur followed, he died on 9th October 1924 at his Easel on a painting holiday at San Vigilio, Lake Garda, Italy, aged 68. His death was recorded in The Days I Knew by Lillie Langtry as:


'Artists, above all, love this beautiful shore, and there is the pathetic story of the recent death of Arthur Burrington, the water colourist, who spent so much of his time here. He fell dead at his easel while painting in the woods, and, as his body could not be moved without the consent of the authorities, the peasants placed candles at his head and feet, and watched over him. What a wonderful cathedral in which to lie in state, with tall pines as the pillars, the blue Italian sky as the dome, birds as choristers, and the simple people he had known and loved as the principal mourners.’